Challenges faced by young adult African students with Refugee Status in Ontario schools
SubjectAcademic cultures & expectations
African refugee students
Culturally relevant education
Developing & implementing curriculum
Ontario secondary schools
MetadataShow full item record
This qualitative study explores the common challenges faced by African young adult refugee students in regard to their academic achievement in Ontario secondary schools. It also considers, using the participants' ideas and narratives, how educators and school administrators can help students overcome these challenges. Guided by narrative design, interviews were conducted with three African individuals who entered Canada with refugee status and were placed in Ontario high schools. During the interviews, participants described their experiences, highlights, and challenges, as well as posed ideas for improvements at the secondary school level. The research revealed five main themes: subsequent language learning, differing academic cultures and expectations, culturally relevant education, support, and discrimination. In particular, subsequent language learning, differing academic cultures and expectations, and support were aspects which impacted participants' schooling experiences in significant ways. Discussions surrounding these five main themes also focused on the participants' perceived importance and need for peer mentors and a school-wide effort in supporting African young adult refugee students. This study supports educational research into the experiences of involuntary immigrant students, particularly African refugee students. By exploring the experiences of this cohort of refugees at the secondary school level, this study advocates the need for educators and school administrators to consider varying educational, cultural, linguistic, and racial backgrounds when developing and implementing curriculum and programming at the secondary school level.